Selling to decision makers can be a daunting task. Are you selling from a position of confidence or insecurity?
Scenario 1. In selling to technical decision makers, you over-use marketing communications materials as a crutch for your selling insecurity. You think the marcom stuff makes you sound knowledgeable. To a skeptical technical decision maker, these materials are fodder to be scrutinized and second-guessed – incessantly. Your technical decision maker(s) poke holes in your data as fast as you are spieling it at them.
Sound familiar? Change to a strategy that builds your confidence. Why reinforce your insecurities about your lack of a left side to your sales brain? Otherwise you avoid selling to technical decision makers – and leave potential business, and commission, on the table for your competitors.
You and I know your left, analytical side of your brain is in there, champing at the bit to be let loose. Put away your company’s data. Your customers want dialogue. Do your homework on their technology, service or platform. Write down the stuff you find intriguing. Write down questions about the stuff you don’t understand.
Be assumptive, inquisitive, and engaging. You may not be their technical peer, but you bring real-world business experience and sales acumen to their table. Lead from your strong suit. Engage your technical decision makers in talking about themselves. DON’T interrupt them to solve and sell. DO ask those questions about what you don’t understand. They will love to teach you all about them.
Scenario 2. You are an engineer or technical professional, assuming a sales role in addition to your left-brain responsibilities. You “sell” by calling up peers and asking for RFQs. Or you spiel features and benefits at decision-makers, showcasing your company’s technical acumen and your own brain-power. The more techno-jargon you speak at folks, the more you create barriers to communication among the other disciplines sitting around the business table. You begin to dread these conversations; your insecurities start to add up.
Sound familiar? In your mind, you have all the right answers. Perhaps you haven’t asked all the right questions. You are hands-down the smartest person in the room. However, the decision maker wants a dialogue instead of a raving braniac.
Engage these decision makers in talking about themselves. DON’T interrupt them to solve a tactical problem; the root cause can have a huge strategic context. DO confidently ask questions to expand that context beyond your tactical solution. Lead strategically, growing the right side capability of your analytical brain.
When you collaborate, and sell, across the sales-engineering interface® you become more confident. The potential and value of business outcomes are endless. How will you change up your habits this month?
Babette N. Ten Haken, President of Sales Aerobics for Engineers®, LLC, Build your business or startup leveraging strategic collaboration tools that create revenue, investment, and growth. Want to learn more? Contact Babette.